After a decade-long corporate career at a Hollywood studio, life felt pretty different. The time Alicia Spaulding used to spend in the boardroom was now spent chasing after her energetic toddler and caring for her newborn, volunteering in classrooms, and contributing to moms’ groups. Life had changed—and was suddenly fuller than ever. But something was off.KEEP READING
While not able to put her finger on it exactly, this life shift was very reflected in her closet. Navigating a post-pregnancy body and a closet full of workwear, she’d look in her closet each morning with more questions than answers: What do I wear? What looks good on me? How can I be on the go, while still looking cute? Could I (should I?) possibly make any of those old suits work for date night? And where on earth will I find the time to get clothes that actually work for my life?
An invitation to a cabi show—one simple card and envelope—turned out to not only change her closet, but her life.
She couldn’t believe how the malaise lifted at the show as one piece after the next felt not only practical for her busy life, but incredibly cute—there was no sacrificing style for comfort. Reflecting on her first cabi Fashion Experience, Alicia said, “There was just so much value that went beyond finding a new pair of jeans or a blouse. The Stylist really helped me discover what I needed; and on top of that, I ended up having amazing conversations with women. I came expecting to maybe buy some clothes, but it turned out to be much more.”
Without any previous inclination to begin a job, Alicia just knew she needed more cabi in her life and decided to start her own cabi business...actually at a time when it didn’t seem sensible. She had a crazy schedule already, and most importantly, she was navigating a health issue for her infant son which required managing doctor appointments, flying around the country for consultations, and dealing with the stress of a looming and significant surgery for her little guy. But there just was something about cabi she felt would fill some important needs.
As it turned out, it was at a cabi show where she met a nurse who worked in the facility where her son’s surgery was proposed to take place. “Meeting her was an incredible gift,” Alicia recalls. “She supported me, helped us think through the big decisions looming, and even took care of our family at the hospital during a difficult time. If it hadn’t been for cabi, we never would have met. I can’t imagine having gone through all of that without her.”
Additionally, throughout this time, Alicia had a solid network of support—fellow Stylists who were texting her daily, calling to check in, helping in ways big and small. “It’s amazing how you can meet new friends who quickly end up playing an enormous role in your life, showing up when it really matters.”
And while Alicia and her family are thankfully now on the other side of this health crisis, it’s those relationships that continue to matter most to her in her cabi business. The clothes bring women together, but it’s what happens when women gather that changes the game.
“I love to see the joy and excitement in a woman’s face when I can help her solve her styling issues,” Alicia says with a sense of pride. “My favorite part is seeing her with an extra skip in her step when she leaves.” She loves to tell her clients that she can’t wait to hear about the compliments they get. “Without a doubt, it always happens because of how the clothes make her feel.”
Part of her role as a cabi Stylist means she gets to help women who find themselves in that same post-baby shift she’d experienced. “Being able to say, ‘I get it’ and really know how vulnerable it is to try on clothes after your body has changed so much is a bit redemptive. There’s a shared experience there that’s actually pretty profound.”
There’s something in the mixture of the transformational power of fashion and an environment where women can really connect that leaves women feeling more confident, more themselves, than when they came.
Alicia works her cabi business whenever it works best for her and her family. “I focus on cabi about 10 hours a week…sometimes 15. We’ve got lots going on, but having cabi actually really helps me be efficient in all areas of my life,” Alicia reflects. Beyond providing Fashion Experiences and personal styling sessions, she’s got other ways her clients can easily shop, which save her time—her website and the cabi Tap app are available 24/7. “I love finding out my clients kept right on ordering on their own. And it’s fun to post a photo on Instagram and have a bunch of people buy the outfit on the spot.”
While she wasn’t after a paycheck when she began, she gets a delighted thrill seeing cash coming in. She shares, “It’s really fun to be able to add some element to a family vacation and know I paid for that…and I love telling my husband, ‘You realize my cabi money is basically covering all your car payments.’ We both love seeing those paychecks every week!”
When she looks back five seasons to when she began her business, she could see that she was attracted to cabi because it was the positive distraction her heart really needed—it added an element that made her feel more whole. It was something she could control—to set goals and make them happen—amidst a situation she couldn’t change.
And perhaps it’s the things we can change that offer life’s greatest opportunities. She never would have suspected that invitation to get styled would really be an invitation into the life change she really needed. And now her chief passion is inviting others to do the same.